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“Multiform is the architectural manifestation of our present moment” – Dezeen

As architecture transitions from being dominated by modernist ideals to being determined by automation a transitional style dubbed Multiform has arisen, says Owen Hopkins.

   Main image is of Office S&M's Mo-tel House in London. Photo is by French + Tye.

Main image is of Office S&M’s Mo-tel House in London. Photo is by French + Tye.

A new transitional architecture movement, dubbed Multiform, has emerged as modernist ideals gives way to digitally dominated thinking.

Economics is often talked about in terms of cycles. There are periods of economic growth followed by stagnation and recession. Then after a time the economy starts growing again and the cycle repeats. It’s the natural ebb and flow of macroeconomics.

Every so often, however, there’s a ‘supercycle’. This is when technological innovation reaches a critical mass and sets off an explosion leading to a new phase of long-term economic growth. The usual business cycles still play out, but do so within the encompassing supercycle, which over time reshapes almost every aspect of the economy.

Modernism was a supercycle, setting the architectural agenda for half a century

Architecture follows a similar pattern. This is partly due to the close relationship between construction and the broader economic situation. But architectural cycles also emerge through changes internal to the discipline, as we develop new ways of thinking about and responding to the material and cultural changes of the world in which architecture is practised.

By this definition, modernism was a supercycle, setting the architectural agenda for half a century. Post-modernism is usually seen as marking the end of the modernist supercycle, but could instead and rather more interestingly be seen as the start of the next – a supercycle that has also lasted nearly half a century and is now coming to an end.

Today, the question is what comes next. If modernism emerged in response to the advent of the production line, electrification and the motor car, and postmodernism was the architecture of cable TV, de-industrialisation and consumerism, then the next supercycle will be driven by what is sometimes called the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

This is the new world of automation, the ‘smart city’, the Internet of Things and the total erosion of the distinction between the digital and physical worlds.

Although the pandemic has certainly accelerated many of these trends, we aren’t there yet. Instead, the present moment is one of transition.

 The next supercycle will be driven by what is sometimes called the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Read on >>> Source: Dezeen “Multiform is the architectural manifestation of our present moment”

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